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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 14: Divorce & Remarriage Divorce American Style • US divorce rate has declined somewhat since reaching a peak in 1981, it still remains high • 2001, more than 2 million US adults divorced • About 40% of men & women in their 50s have been divorced at least once • After 5 years, about 20% of all 1 st marriages in the US have been disrupted, either b/c of separation or divorce. After 10 yrs the figure jumps to 33%, & after 15 yrs rises to 43% • Younger a couple is when they marry, the higher the probability that their marriage will end in divorce • Couples who cohabit before marrying have a higher probability of divorcing than couples who didn’t cohabit • 1 st marriages are at heightened risk of divorce in communities w/high unemployment, low median income, & low percentages of college-educated residents • Relatively high divorce rate is often attributed to things like the decreasing influence of religion in people’s lives, the liberalization of divorce laws, the rise of individualism, & women’s increasing participation in the paid labor force • Marriage- a voluntary contact that can be ended at the discretion of either spouse • 60% of respondents in a recent study maintained that divorce is preferable to staying in an unhappy marriage • Today, marriage is seen primarily as an exchange of emotional gratification Divorce in Cultural Context • Worldwide, divorce rates tend to be associated w/a country’s level of socioeconomic development • Developing countries of Latin America (Ecuador, Nicaragua, & Panama) & Asia (Malaysia, Mongolia, & Sri Lanka) have substantially lower divorce rates than the developed countries of western Europe & North America • Between 1980 & 1995, the divorce rate in China more than doubled • Several factors related to economic & social change may have contributed to this increase o Legal restrictions on divorce were relaxed in 1981 w/the passage of the New Marriage Law, which made divorce easier to obtain o Economic reform permitted more women to control economic resources & gain financial independence o Rapid socioeconomic development & the spread of Western attitudes have loosened traditional Chinese restrictions on divorce • Italians have been able to legally divorce for only the last 2 decades • In 1997 people in Ireland gained the right to legally divorce for the 1 st time • 2000, passage of a new law for the 1 st time gave Egyptian women the right to divorce w/or w/o their husband’s consent • Iranian culture discourages women from living by themselves, especially if they are young, so...
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This note was uploaded on 11/28/2010 for the course SOC 356 taught by Professor Asd during the Spring '07 term at Bryant.
- Spring '07